The gymnast, the athlete, and the bodybuilder inevitably spend much time and thought, as well as energy, deciding on the best type of training, the most suitable exercises likely to create the strength and stamina needed to gain their objective.

By itself, however, this concentration on the right type of training is by no means enough. For men and women intent on achieving the maximum possible in health and strength must pay great attention to what they eat.

Traning Calls For Dedication

Training and repetitions exercises may, at times, appear as onerous, calling for considerable dedication and determination.

In fact, the discipline may be maintained only by the desire to win events, trophies, and fame. That is certainly enough. But to achieve the heights in your chosen sport, close attention must be paid to achieving a properly balanced diet.

This may appeal as an unwelcome truth, being seen as calling for iron determination. This is due to the fact that denying oneself certain types of food, especially prior to competing, may prove even more demanding than undertaking a strict regimen of exercises and training schedules.

No doubt, there must be restrictions on eating. The wrong foods the ones that create fat or which provide very little or nothing in the way of stamina and energy.

And what of the amount of intake? Mustn’t that be rigidly controlled, leaving the athlete, who burns up a great deal of energy, in a state of hunger or near hunger?


Happily, the answer is a resounding NO. For there is a food that meets the multiple need of the athlete, as well as the needs of those who wish to be well or gain fitness.

And this seemingly magical food is the vastly varied species which are summed up under the single word FISH.

For this has all the qualities and properties needed to raise everyone to the highest degree of wellbeing of which they are capable. For its almost infinite in variety, ranging from the humble cod, through haddock, hake, and halibut to sole, salmon and skate.

Indeed, under the sub-class known as Palaeopterygii, there is only one fish which is sturgeon, but this is one of a large family bearing that overall name.

Under the order Lsospondyli, the nine families include such popular fish as the herring, pilchard, sardine, anchovy, salmon, trout, char, grayling and sprat.

Even these are only examples of the varieties of edible fish. And one of their most pleasing qualities is that they cannot be eaten too much. Well hardly. For all fish, no matter what its size or shape, has only a medium amount of calories, which measures the heat-giving qualities of foodstuffs.

Calories used up in movement or exercise are converted to unwelcome and unwholesome fat.

Red Meat Much Higher In Calories!

Meat eaters, which include close to 90% of American and British people, take in their roast beef, pork or lamb chops from 210 to 360 calories. This may be good for athletes, gymnasts, and bodybuilders who use up considerable amounts of energy in training. But only in training.

Once a period of intensive preparation is over and exercises no longer burn up extra energy, the intake of calories should be decreased.

The approximate amount of energy used on average each minute depends on the degree of activity being undertaken by the individual. Even in sleep, a male uses up just over one calorie per minute females slightly less.

A male office worker uses almost two calories a minute the female office worker rather more than one and a half calories.

The athlete the sportsman – footballer, for instance, uses seven to eight calories a minute.

Obviously, an athlete needs a large intake of calories during training and when performing. But there is a need when resting from intensive training periods to reduce intake if fitness is to be preserved.

It is here that fish play their vital role as there is no need to limit severely the intake. In fact, it can be eaten most freely, as its calorie content is as little as 65 in salmon and lobster, two of the most popular varieties, although the number may rise to 155. Fresh or smoked haddock only harbors 120 calories.

No Loss of Nutrients When Cooked

What is of equal importance is the fact that fish can be cooked in so many different ways without any loss of nutritional values. Steaming and boiling fish obviously, but also when fish is fried.

When meats and eggs are fried, there is a significant loss of nutrients. But provided fish is fried in vegetable oil, corn or sunflower oil, for instance, all its health-giving properties are preserved. And what is tastier than fried fish?

This the food which is often the heart of a highly pleasing meal is one which promotes physical well being.

Fish “Brain Food”

The calin that fish is “brain food” is often greeted with skepticism. The claim surprisingly perhaps, does have a great deal to support it. Fish have in their bones iodine, potassium and phosphorous in generous quantities, and all are good for the brain.

Fish as such beneficial benefits on the body generally that, good for the brain it is equally good for the scalp. or, more accurately, for the hair that does, or should grow out of it.

For the iodine, potassium and phosphorous are as good for the scalp as they are for the brain. Which means they are supportive of the hair that frows on the scalp.

Some men express indifference to a loss of hair, even claiming that baldness makes them look distinguished. Secretly, however, in common with the majority who find they are losing their hair, they entertain a desire to retain it.

This explains why so many men spend a great deal of time and energy applying to their scalps a truly astonishing range of so-called hair restorers, with Pomade of Peru at one extreme and mixture of lard and oil at the other, and alas all in vain!

Nor will eating fish in large quantities and at every meal restore growth of hair to a bald head. But it may well act to delay baldness.

Of equal value is the fact that a diet of fish, and especially if sardines, pilchards, and herrings, which have rich reserves of oil, helps to keep the hair in good condition. This is due to the fact that they provide an adequate intake of unsaturated fatty acids, vital nutrients that dispose of dandruff.

Fish Good For The Skin

Fish helps take care of the skin. Many teenagers suffer acute embarrassment because of facial blemishes caused by acne. Women in their middle and late middle age often suffer a degree of anguish when they see wrinkles appearing about their eyes and mouths.

Happily, fish can help here as with so many other problems. An intake of fish every day will go far to postpone the arrival of wrinkles. Which is far better than resorting to cosmetics to hide facial farrows, which block pores and promote wrinkling.

Fish is good for the treatment of all skin ailments, from acne in the young to wrinkles in the aging and the aged is equally beneficial for those wishing to promote or retain a god figure.

This, of course, is due to the fact that all fish have only a modest amount of calories, and so make no contribution to the eater enduring an unhealthy and unwelcome accumulation of fat, much of it in the most prominent of places.

The truth is that fish is beneficial because it is a veritable treasure house of fitness promoting factors.

These include a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and fats, plus calcium, iodine, iron, and unsaturated fatty acids. Every part of the fish including the bones, flesh and even the skin, contains vitamins A, B, D, E, and K. Vitamin B1, also called thiamine, assists in the functioning of muscles, and so is of importance to athletes.

Vitamin B2, technically called riboflavin, helps break down food to provide energy. Obviously this vitamin is of crucial value to all of us who take part in strenuous sports and undertake strict physical exercises.

Almost every kind of fish is of value in preserving health. This is true of shellfish such as shrimps, prawns, and crabs to site the three most popular. This is only natural for all sea creatures, whatever their nature, draw their nourishment from the same source – the sea itself.

This being so for the athlete the bodybuilder and the gymnast to include shellfish in his or her weekly diet is bound to prove advantageous.

In fact for all men and women, for those who simply wish to keep fit or gain fitness, and all those who wish to excel in some form of physical activity, fish is essential.

References & Acknowledgments

Excerpts taken from the excellent article ‘Fish -The Food For The Athlete’, by J. Stewart – Sport & Fitness Magazine